O Night Of Nights!

Representative Text

1 O Night of nights! O night
Desired of man so long!
The ancient heavens fled forth in light
To sing thee thy new song;
And shooting down the steep,
To shepherd folk of old,
An angel, while they watched their sheep,
Set foot beside the fold.

2 Lo! while as like to die
Of that keen light he shed,
They looked on his pure majesty,
Amazed, and sore bestead;
Lo! while with words of cheer
He bade their trembling cease,
The flocks of God swept sweetly near,
And sang to them of peace.

3 All on the hillside grass
That fulgent radiance fell,
So close those innocents did pass,
Their words were heard right well;
Among the sheep, their wings
Some folding, walked the sod
An ordered throng of shining things,
White, with the smile of God.

4 The waits of heaven to hear,
Oh! what it must have been!
Think, Christian people, think, and fear
For cold hearts, for unclean;
Think how the times go by,
How love and longing fail,
Think how we live and how we die,
As this were but a tale.

5 O tender tale of old,
Live in thy dear renown;
God’s smile was in the dark, behold
That way His hosts came down;
Light up, great God, Thy Word,
Make the blest meaning strong,
As if our ears, indeed, had heard
The glory of their song.

6 It was so far away,
But Thou couldst make it near,
And all its living might display
And cry to it, "Be here,"
Here, in th’ unresting town,
As once remote to them,
Who heard it when the heavens came down,
On pastoral Bethlehem.

7 It was so long ago,
But God can make it now,
And as with that sweet overflow,
Our empty hearts endow;
Take, Lord, those words outworn,
O! make them new for aye,
Speak—"Unto you a child is born,"

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #8360

Author: Jean Ingelow

Ingelow, Jean, daughter of W. Ingelow, Boston, Lincolnshire, was born in 1820. Her writings are well and favourably known. Her poetical pieces have been published as Poems, 1863, and A Story of Doom and other Poems, 1867. From her Poems, 1863, the cento "And didst Thou love the race that loved not Thee" (Love of Christ in the Congregational Church Hymnal 1887, is taken. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O Night of nights! O night
Title: O Night Of Nights!
Author: Jean Ingelow
Meter: D
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


The Cyber Hymnal #8360
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The Cyber Hymnal #8360

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